Chapter 25: Plans

Chapter 25: Plans

Accompanied by bodyguards again, Joan and the Kaiba brothers entered a five-star restaurant with a circular crystal chandelier. The maître d' seated them at a table on the second floor. A single red rose decorated the center of the table. Soft jazz played from overhead speakers. Joan sat between Seto and Mokuba, their iolite and amethyst eyes frequently meeting hers. She knew she'd find her brothers one day, but she didn't expect them to be this handsome.

The brothers began talking about Monsters of the Duel, upcoming patches and adjustments, and whether they should still nerf Kuriboh even with the ban. Then they spoke of upcoming monster releases and what they could do with those to counter a late-game Kuriboh. Most of it went over Joan's head, but she enjoyed watching them in their element, treading on familiar ground.

Mokuba gave a small gasp and leaned forward. "We have to add Guardian Angel Joan to our lineup. She'll be the ultimate healer, and Joan can do her voice-over."

"I'm not cut out for that kind of work," Joan cautioned.

"Your singing voice is amazing. Just give it a shot," Mokuba insisted. "Laura will write the lines and all you have to do is read them. If it doesn't work out, we can always get someone else."

"Thinking about replacing me already?" Joan teased. "How many other whores do you have lined up?"

"Yeah, about that," Mokuba said, "I have trouble thinking of you that way. I don't know how Seto does it. You're too important to me to treat you like a whore. I mean, I can still pay you if you need the money."

"I kinda do," Joan admitted. "I'm still paying off student loans, rent here is ridiculous, and running around with four guys, especially with how much of my time you're demanding on weekdays, is going to make it difficult for me to maintain regular working hours. I can probably do some work on the plane ride to and from Japan, but the jet lag back and forth is going to be killer."

"You'll be riding in our private jet. It has bedrooms," Seto said.

Joan's eyebrows shot up. "Uh . . . I really don't want to be responsible for putting that much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sharing a plane with two hundred other people is one thing, but since this is going to be a weekly trip . . ."

"I'll see to it that you at least have a sleeping compartment," Seto said.

"That should help," Joan agreed.

"Alright," Mokuba circled back to the previous topic, "Keep your fees, but keep that stuff between you and Roland. I don't want to see your Clockify profile again. I want this to feel . . . normal."

"Fair enough," Joan said, "but there's no such thing as normal. Every relationship looks different. Don't hesitate to tell me what you want."

"I'm still figuring it out to be honest. I need something else to call you, and I don't think Marc would appreciate me calling you my girlfriend," Mokuba said.

"Isn't it obvious?" Seto cut in.

"What?" Mokuba asked.

"Mrs. Kaiba." Seto sealed the salutation with a satisfied smirk.

Mokuba's pupils expanded. He looked to Joan for confirmation.

"I was playing around when I typed that in," Joan said, "but not just playing around. It was more than that too. I'm not going to change my name legally, not yet anyway, but we can roll with it for a while and see where it goes."

"What would it take to get you to change your name legally?" Seto asked.

Joan grinned. "One hell of a wedding ceremony."

"But you . . . you said you weren't leaving Michael," Mokuba said.

"Of course not," Joan clarified. "Unless the law changes, I'll never marry either of you legally, and you'll never have to worry about me running off with half your money, only what I've earned. However, we can always throw a party without it being a legally binding deal. We can call it whatever we want."

"We'll throw you a wedding tomorrow then," Seto said.

"Fuck no! Six months from now minimum. I don't care how much money you throw at it. The important part to me is that all my friends can make it, and with their busy lives, they'll need time to plan ahead, book flights, schedule time off work, keep that date clear of medical procedures, all those things you rich boys don't have to worry about."

For a fraction of a second, Seto actually looked sheepish. The expression stuck on Mokuba's face significantly longer.

"You know," Joan continued, "there's a reason why I didn't change my last name when I married Michael. The wedding was rushed. We didn't have the kind of wedding I always dreamed of. I love him, but a little church ceremony doesn't count as a wedding in my book."

"Why did you go through with it, then?" Mokuba asked.

"Two reasons: It gave us an edge financially and it also prevented my mother from bitching about me living in sin with him."

Seto's mouth twisted into his signature smirk. "So tell me: are you or are you not making babies with the wage monkey?"

An unexpected rush sent shivers through Joan's entire body. She knew what was coming next but decided to play it cool. "Not yet, but it's in our plans eventually."

"How about making some babies with me?"

It had been easier to say no before she fell in love with him. Now, something about his smoldering blue eyes made her want to shout yes from the rooftops. "I . . . I really have to talk to Michael about that. It's not completely out of the question, but cool your jets."

Seto's bold proposal brought one from Mokuba. "I know this is sudden, and you probably want some time to think about it, but what if you and Michael moved in with me so you don't have to worry about rent? I have a spare bedroom I'm not using."

"No offense, but your kitchen sucks," Joan said. "It's like whoever designed that place put in three square feet of countertop for decoration. Besides that, I need some storage space and some office space."

"Office space?" Mokuba asked.

"Didn't I mention I work from home? My press doesn't have a central location. We all work from home, and I need peace and quiet while I work. Michael and I used to have our desks in the same room for a while and it didn't work out so well. Your little bachelor pad isn't going to cut it for us."

"OK, OK. So I got the place for the view and never planned on having two, let alone three people there. What about a different place, though? One we pick out together," Mokuba suggested.

"Marc has a dream of building a poly house where partners can come and go as they please without disturbing one another. With the place he has now, I have to wait until Laura is spending the weekend with someone else before I can spend time with Marc, so he wants to build something with really good soundproofing."

"You'll need intercoms," Seto stated.

"We have these things called phones nowadays," Joan said.

"Phones can be hacked," Seto pointed out, "but that's not sufficient sound quality when one is actually invited to listen."

A look of discomfort crossed Mokuba's features as he realized Seto had probably accessed his implant and heard everything. "I didn't realize it meant that much to you."

"Get over it, Mokuba," Seto said. "You can play house all you want, but at the end of the day she's still our whore."

Mokuba's cheeks flamed. "You're the one who wants to make babies with her!"

"Don't tell me renting out her womb hasn't crossed your mind too," Seto said.

Joan's ovaries quivered at the sentiment. She bit her lower lip as she looked from one brother to the other, trying to figure out how she got so lucky.

"Maybe," Mokuba sighed, "but don't make it sound so crass."

"Stop sugar-coating everything," Seto replied. "We'll need an heir someday."

"Was that your plan all along, Seto? To pay a prostitute to mother your children so you don't have to give a wife the love and affection she deserves?" Mokuba asked.

Seto crossed his arms. "Hardly. I never thought I'd find one worthy of the task. I figured you'd marry some gold digger who claimed to love you and we'd be stuck with her halfwit offspring."

Joan shattered the ice between the brothers before it could grow any thicker. "O ye of little faith."

Seto looked to Joan in alarm. "You're not going to shove that Christian mumbo-jumbo on our children, are you?"

"Fuck no. I want to teach them about it from an academic standpoint and let them make up their own minds about what to believe."

Seto released a breath he'd been holding.

"I know you're excited about this, but there's a lot of stuff to iron out first," Joan said. "I like Mokuba's idea of moving in together. I'll still have to clear that with Michael, but it's a decision we can reverse if we can't stand each other. Once your baby pops out of me, there's no putting it back in. I want to know that we'll have a functional household for it to grow up in."

"Have it your way, whore," Seto conceded.

Joan smiled and leaned back in her chair. She noticed a self-satisfied grin on Mokuba's face as well. "Since it looks like I'll have plenty of time with each of you individually but it will be a while before I get to see the two of you again, what are we doing tomorrow?"

"Fucking," Seto said.

"Obviously, but I already know you can't handle that the entire day. You need to get out and see more of California anyway. So, where do you want to go?"

Mokuba shrugged. "I don't know. You're the American."

"OK then. How about a museum?"

Seto scoffed. "The last time I set foot in a museum, some Egyptian bitch with a Millennium Necklace forced me to hallucinate."

Joan decided not to trigger him further. "Amusement park then?"

"Been there, done that. Nothing holds a candle to Kaiba Land. We made sure of it," Seto bragged.

"How about a hike in a redwood forest? I bet Japan doesn't have those."

Seto looked down his nose. "You want to look at trees?"

"Not just any trees. Redwoods."

Seto rolled his eyes. "Whatever, whore."

"Come on Seto," Mokuba said, "it'll be awesome. We haven't just gone out and done something new like this in forever."

"I said whatever. What more do you want?"

"Some enthusiasm?" Mokuba suggested.

"If you want enthusiasm, all you have to do is watch us fuck," Seto said.

Joan ran a finger along her lower lip. "That's true."

Mokuba thought back to when he'd seen Seto fingering Joan. Mokuba had tried not to look, but the expression on Seto's face had been something else, something he'd never seen before even when they were kids. It had even scared him a little, but honestly it wasn't that bad. "Do both of you actually want me there?"

"Yes," Joan said without hesitation.

"Green," Seto smirked.

"Oh, I don't know if he's ready for that," Joan said.

"Ready for what?" Mokuba asked nervously.

"You've heard of BDSM, right?" Joan asked.

"You mean like ropes and stuff?"

"Yeah, but you don't always need ropes. A lot of it is more roleplay."

"So . . ."

"So if something turns you on and you want it to happen, you say green. Yellow means slow down and red means stop."

"Like traffic lights?"


"So if I went into that room with you and whatever you were doing was bothering me, I could say red and you would stop?"

"That wasn't initially what I was getting at, but yeah, we can stop if you need us to."

"What were you getting at?" Mokuba asked.

Seto cut in, "You're right, Mrs. Kaiba. He's not ready."

"Ready for what?" Frustration edged Mokuba's voice.

"I like to play extra rough sometimes," Joan admitted.

Mokuba's hands flew up. "Thank you! Was that so hard?"

"Just had to make sure you wanted to know before I told you," Joan said.

"Well I don't want to see it, not tonight at least."

"We'll keep it vanilla for you," Joan assured him.

Mokuba took in a deep breath. "I can't believe I'm about to say this, but sure. I'll watch you fuck."

Joan and Seto exchanged wide grins as they finished the rest of their meal.

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